For the past two years, Terry Collins has made a big angry fuss about players showing up to spring training late. Wait, that’s wrong: he’s made a big angry fuss about players showing up to spring training on time.
In 2011 it was Luis Castillo. Last year it was Ruben Tejada. Each time Collins made it clear that he wanted players there early and that, to him anyway, on time was late. Never mind what those pansy rules say about reporting dates. If you’re not early you just don’t want it bad enough.
Sadly, this year Ruben Tejada is going to make Collins find someone else to yell at for only giving 100 instead of 110%:
After irritating manager Terry Collins last year by waiting until the deadline for position players to report before arriving in camp, the Mets shortstop yesterday said he will be in Port St. Lucie on Saturday — a full week before his presence is required.
So who will it be this year? Lucas Duda? Ike Davis? Maybe Mike Baxter. Gotta be someone who fulfills his contractual requirements and not Collins’ requirements, right?
Yasiel Puig made a public appearance today. He was a guest barista at a Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf in Los Angeles as part of a charity . . . thing. I dunno. I just hope that, after finishing the foam on someone’s latte he airmailed it past his fellow barista at the counter and got it to the customer on the fly 300 feet away, after which he flipped the espresso machine. Gotta stay on-brand.
After that he talked about baseball. Puig, who was demoted last season and then brought back up in a part-time role, said that it’s his goal to be a starter again, if not in Los Angeles than someplace else. As for the someplace else, the Dodgers explored a Puig trade last season and it was thought they’d try again this offseason, but it’s been all quiet on that front.
What is Puig, for his part, doing to become a starter again? Getting in shape. From MLB.com:
Puig has been working out at Dodger Stadium the last two weeks. He is conditioning his leaner body to avoid injuries that have plagued him and working with batting coaches in search of regaining the impact bat that once had him on the verge of superstardom . . . The 6-foot-2 Puig, who last year was listed at 240 pounds, now has a personal chef to prepare healthier foods.
A leaner Puig. That’ll certainly be a game-changer, right?
Yet as a new season dawns, the team still hopes he can recapture the form he displayed as a rookie in 2013. The organization asked Puig to slim down and focus on durability rather than musculature. Friedman sounded pleased with the result. Puig had suggested he weighed about 240 pounds, down 15 from his listed weight in 2015.
Oops. That was from January 30, 2016.
If he keeps getting leaner each offseason eventually he’ll just disappear, right?
Corey Dickerson of the Tampa Bay Rays wasn’t a super huge guy or anything, but he’s going to be smaller this year: he told reporters today that he’s lost 25 pounds. He attributes it to a new diet and a workout regimen and says it’ll help him with his running, swing and throwing.
Dickerson had a down year in 2016, so if losing 25 pounds is something he thinks will work for him he’s got nothing to lose. Of course the best way for him to improve his numbers is to convince the Rays to trade him back to Colorado, but that’s not likely.